Validation of landsurface processes in the AMIP models

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The Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) is a commonly accepted protocol for testing the performance of the world's atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) under common specifications of radiative forcings (in solar constant and carbon dioxide concentration) and observed ocean boundary conditions (Gates 1992, Gates et al. 1999). From the standpoint of landsurface specialists, the AMIP affords an opportunity to investigate the behaviors of a wide variety of land-surface schemes (LSS) that are coupled to their ''native'' AGCMs (Phillips et al. 1995, Phillips 1999). In principle, therefore, the AMIP permits consideration of an overarching question: ''To what extent does an AGCM's ... continued below

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921 Kilobytes pages

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Phillips, T J October 1, 1999.

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The Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) is a commonly accepted protocol for testing the performance of the world's atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) under common specifications of radiative forcings (in solar constant and carbon dioxide concentration) and observed ocean boundary conditions (Gates 1992, Gates et al. 1999). From the standpoint of landsurface specialists, the AMIP affords an opportunity to investigate the behaviors of a wide variety of land-surface schemes (LSS) that are coupled to their ''native'' AGCMs (Phillips et al. 1995, Phillips 1999). In principle, therefore, the AMIP permits consideration of an overarching question: ''To what extent does an AGCM's performance in simulating continental climate depend on the representations of land-surface processes by the embedded LSS?'' There are, of course, some formidable obstacles to satisfactorily addressing this question. First, there is the dilemna of how to effectively validate simulation performance, given the present dearth of global land-surface data sets. Even if this data problem were to be alleviated, some inherent methodological difficulties would remain: in the context of the AMIP, it is not possible to validate a given LSS per se, since the associated land-surface climate simulation is a product of the coupled AGCM/LSS system. Moreover, aside from the intrinsic differences in LSS across the AMIP models, the varied representations of land-surface characteristics (e.g. vegetation properties, surface albedos and roughnesses, etc.) and related variations in land-surface forcings further complicate such an attribution process. Nevertheless, it may be possible to develop validation methodologies/statistics that are sufficiently penetrating to reveal ''signatures'' of particular ISS representations (e.g. ''bucket'' vs more complex parameterizations of hydrology) in the AMIP land-surface simulations.

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921 Kilobytes pages

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  • Workshop on Modeling Landsurface Atmosphere Interactions and Climate Variability, Gif-sur, Yvette (FR), 10/04/1999--10/08/1999

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JC-135863
  • Report No.: KP1201010
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 14677
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc618777

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  • October 1, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • May 6, 2016, 3:08 p.m.

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Phillips, T J. Validation of landsurface processes in the AMIP models, article, October 1, 1999; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc618777/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.